Book Review for THE CURIOSITIES by Susan Gloss

William Morrow
☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A candid and emotionally charged look into four people brought together by one patron of the arts.

Having never read anything by the author, I didn’t expect to get such a raw and honest book with THE CURIOSITIES. In truth, what makes this book so good is the fact we are gifted with reality in this story. 


The characters we meet have flaws. They are working through issues within their life and their art. By highlighting the lives of these five people, the author exposes their thoughts and emotions. She makes each, including the late Betsy Barrett, vulnerable to the reader. We get to know them and see their evolution. This is the true gift of the book.

I have to mention the one thing I loved. The artsy vibe. No matter where you are in the book or whom you are reading about, there is art everywhere. As someone who graced the senior studios at SVA, I can say this for sure. Gloss gets it. She got into the mind of what an artist is as well as how outside influences can stop us from creating or be the catalyst for a body of work.

Through what can only be described as eloquent prose and rare veracity to her characters’ personas, THE CURIOSITIES is a top read for me. We are only at the beginning of February and I feel as if I have a contender for the top 10 of the year.

Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

The follow-up to Susan Gloss's successful debut, Vintage, is a charming mid-western story of artists, inspiration, and how to reinvent your life with purpose and flair.

Nell Parker has a PhD in Art History, a loving husband named Josh, and a Craftsman bungalow in Madison, WI. But her last pregnancy ended later in the second trimester, and rather than pausing to grieve, she pushes harder for testing and fertility treatments. Urging Nell to apply for jobs, Josh believes his wife needs something else to focus on other than a baby that may never be.

Finding a job turns out to be difficult for an art historian . . . until Nell sees the ad seeking a director for a new nonprofit called the Mansion Hill Artists' Colony. The colony is the brainchild of the late, unconventional society dame Betsy Barrett, who left behind her vast fortune and a killer collection of modern art to establish an artist-in-residency program to be run out of her lakeside mansion. The executor of Betsy's estate simply hands Nell a set of house keys and wishes her luck, leaving her to manage the mansion and the eccentric personalities of the artists who live there on her own.

Soon one of the artists, a young metal sculptor named Odin, is keeping the other residents awake with his late-night welding projects. Nell is pretty sure that Annie, a dreadlocked granny known for her avant garde performance pieces, is dealing drugs out of the basement "studio." Meanwhile Paige, an art student from the university, takes up residence in the third-floor turret, experimenting with new printing and design techniques, as well as leading a string of bad boyfriends upstairs when she stumbles home late at night. 

Despite all the drama, Nell finds something akin to a family among the members of the creative community that she’s brought together. And when her attraction to Odin begins to heat up, Nell is forced to decide what will bring her greater joy—the creative, inspired world she's created, or the familiar but increasingly fragile one of her marriage.

Find the book on HarperCollins, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Susan Gloss is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin Law School. When she's not writing fiction, Susan can be found working as an attorney, blogging at, or hunting for vintage treasures for her Etsy shop, Cleverly Curated. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Book Details:

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (February 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062933760
ISBN-13: 978-0062933768

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